W a l t e r z A l t e r
p o r t f o l i o
2010-15 Published two poetry books - "Engine of Didactic Beauty" and "Theater of Utter Charm" and a book of essays -"Panoply Ex Machina" available on Amazon. Created a half dozen GoPro videos on the Walter Alter YouTube Channel covering hiking trips taken in the Sierras and the California coastal redwoods. Working on a series of video documentary about the week long "Inter DaDa 84" celebration held in San Francisco in 1984. Began series of nature photographs taken on weekly hiking trips. Making and repairing African drums for local drum community. Collating and converting various art videos for Gerry Fialka's lecture series on American underground art
1998-09 Composing new series of poems for self-publishing. Created new body of computer generated graphics and new series of drawings in ink, colored pencil and water color. Learned to to play didgeridoo and djembe drum. Founding member of Dragonfly Creek Drum Circle which evolved into Rhythm Village, an African dance
1995-97 worked as computer technician and assistant to author David Talbott during his making of video documentaries about his work in comparative mythology dealing with a revolutionary interpretation of archaeo-astronomy and global catasrophe echoed in myths from all parts of the globe.
1991-94 Set up a computer bulletin board service (BBS) dedicated to ongoing discussions of politics, media and technology. Two page article "The List of Recalibrations" published in Fad magazine. Joined the Desert Site Works artist group and helped to plan a number of collaborative projects in the Nevada Desert, including the 1994 Burning Man Event. Published article on Las Vegas Comdex computer convention in Fad magazine. Worked with Central Signs crew to assemble neon robot for a Mark Pauline, Survival Research Labs performance. Worked with Kronia Communications as coordinator of their International Symposium on Myth and Astronomy and to assemble and release a video documentary on this symposium.
1987-90 Began series of large hanging murals painted upon rubber-backed canvas conveyor belt material. Invited to write ongoing series of articles about the arts and technology, video theory and electronic music in Electronic Cottage Magazine, Retrofuturism Magazine, and Ylem-- a journal for artists using science and technology. Began composing electronic music on computer keyboard utilizing a variety of programs along with series of pictorial compositions created with computer aided design program. Continue to distribute a large volume of media theory literature throughout underground and mail art networks.
1985-87 Represented by the Hatley-Martin Gallery, San Francisco. Organized and participated in 3 person show "Our Friend the Electron", installed permanent TV room sculpture, erected 3 large scale TV-sculpture pieces, displayed photo collage series, organized and participated in three electronic music programs at the gallery, Organized and participated in a panel discussion on the potential for creating a "San Francisco Renaissance" that included as participants Claire Isaacs, Director of the S.F. Art Commission, Fred Martin, Dean of Students at the S.F. Art Institute, Kary Schulman, head of the S.F. Fund for the Arts, Anne Walker, Trustee of the S.F. Museum of Modern Art, Modesto Lanzone, S.F. art patron, and myself. Formed and led improvisational experimental music ensemble which evolved into a performance group with vocalists, acoustic musicians, slide projection and film projection. Appeared at numerous events throughout S.F. and elsewhere (see music performance list). Appeared 3 times on radio KPFA. Began audio cassette tape distribution company- Baby Brain Tapes.
1984 Began to write articles about media theory and the potential of video technology as a carrier of modern culture. Published articles in Fad Magazine, Beef Magazine, Ylem Journal, Electronic Cottage Magazine, The North Mission News, Deadbeat Magazine, Wiring Dept. Magazine, The Sins of Coffee Magazine. Wrote and distributed a number of tracts on the state of the arts locally, the impact of technology on the arts, and the necessity for artists to see themselves in the role of creating renaissances. Helped organize the InterDaDa '84 event, a week long international meeting of contemporary DaDaists. Served as translator for the patriarch of Neo-DaDa, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini. Helped organize the 1987 citywide two week Open Studio event. Participated in S.F. Poetry Festival Poetry Marathon event directed by beat poet Herman Berlandt.
1982-88 moved to San Francisco and set up motor scooter repair shop. became headquarters of the S.F. Bay Area Mod scene. Interviewed for: KPIX TV Evening Magazine, KGO TV Entertainment News, S.F. Chronicle Style section, Fad Magazine, Image Magazine, City Bike Magazine, Road Rider Magazine, Scooter and Scooterist Magazine, British Scooter Scene Magazine, BBC radio, US. NPR. radio, Prism Magazine, Calendar Magazine, Z Magazine Metier Magazine, The North Mission News, The S.F. Bay Guardian, and Photo Metro Magazine. Began collecting old TV sets, detuning the circuitry and assembling them in large scale installation arrays with screens treated in a variety of ways-- masks, gels and stencils. Began incorporating steel conduit into site specific, temporary sculpture pieces and mounting the TV screens into the sculptures. These were installed at a variety of events, performance spaces, galleries and dance clubs (see installation list)
1975-82 Began ongoing project assembling photo collages. Began the collection and restoration of motor scooters. Met and hung out with many young students, artists and punk musicians. My scooter shop become a gathering point for the youth sub-culture known as the "Mods", originally popular in Britain in the early 60's and now experiencing a revival in the US. Completed and published a book of poetry called "The Masters of our Disasters" (Hydraulic Press), Exhibited films on KQED TV's Frontal Exposure program and in the Canyon Cinematheque series. Exhibited photo collages in local festivals and with the Nova Artists group shows and served as Nova's Assistant Director and Installation Coordinator 1982-83
1973-75 Attended City College filmmaking program on G.I. Bill. Completed requirements for Associate in Arts degree. Completed cycle of 5 experimental films beyond course requirements. Began interest in electronic music for use in film sound tracks and completed 12 units course work in electronic music composition also at S.F. City College
1972 designed and constructed houseboat on Napa St. pier in Sausalito, Ca. Developed interest in filmmaking and began self-study on film history and production techniques.
1968 enlisted in US Navy, trained as Hospital Corpsman, Field Medic and Optician. 3 year tour of duty at USMC. Supply Center, Barstow, Ca., as Base Optician and Director of Eye and Hearing Safety Program. Organized and maintained dispensary Medical Library. Studied current literature on visual physiology and psychology. Began wheel-thrown pottery program at Base Hobby Shop. Travelled in local desert while drawing and painting. Studied local Indian archaeological sites, petroglyphs, mining camps, etc.
1967 toured central Italy to study origins of Renaissance painting. Particular attention paid to visiting artist's birthplaces. Studied original works in Florence, Perugia, Urbino, Arezzo, Sienna, Rome, Pisa, and Venice and marble quarrys at Carrara. Studied Etruscan. Roman and Greek sculpture.
1964-66 2 years US Peace Corps service in Columbia, South America. 1st development program for export of native handicrafts. Directed Cooperativa Morasurco, woodworking and furniture co-op in Pasto, Columbia. Taught cooperative bookkeeping and organizational methods and quality control. Design supervisor at Instituto de Ceramica, Popayan, Columbia. Assisted at school of ceramics in utilizing unusual high temperature clay bodies and glazes found locally.
1961 College of Marin community college, Kentfield, Ca., major- art, minor- Spanish
1962 St. Mary's College, Moraga, Ca., major- art, minor- Spanish,
1963-64 University of California, Berkeley, major- art, emphasis- painting, minor- Spanish
1964-66 US Peace Corps service, Columbia, native handicrafts development program
1968-72 US Navy Hospital Corps school, Field Medical school, Dispensing Optician school
1973-75 San Francisco City College, major- filmmaking, minor- electronic music
1975 San Francisco City College summer session, 12 units black & white photography